There are many travel resources in Hangzhou and all of which are highly-rated and provide recommendations and valuable itineraries to cater to the needs of travelers from all corners of the globe. A Hangzhou tour is an essential part of the classic China Tours and with the following five recommendations you too can find the perfect route in which to tour this enchanting city.
This is a classic route that starts from the West Lake Scenic Area, a world cultural heritage site located in the west side of downtown Hangzhou and famous for its ten most classic views from the Song Dynasty. This particular tour of Hangzhou is highlighted by a cruise on the lake, followed by a visit to Lingyin Temple, a time-honored temple with a history of over a thousand years. After taking lunch nearby then you will head to Longjing Tea Plantation to view Hangzhou’s endless rows of tea leaves. If possible then it’s strongly advised to reserve dinner in the City God Tower where you can enjoy a traditional royal banquet while listening to classical music before taking a leisurely stroll along the famous souvenir street Hefang Street.
This is a two-day tour of which the first day starts after breakfast and consists of a guided tour of the Tiger Spring Park which lasts approximately one hour. After lunch at a local restaurant you will visit Feilai Peak (Peak Flying from Afar), which will also take approx. an hour. This is a sacred land of Buddhist art notably highlighted by the over 380 stone statues from the Five Dynasties and Yuan Dynasty periods. After visiting here then transfer to the Pagoda of Six Harmonies (about 1 hour away). Also called Liuhe Pagoda, this site is located south of the West Lake on Yuelun Hill and majestically overlooks the Qiantang River and is one of the true masterpieces of ancient Chinese architecture. Finally you will be transferred to your hotel in the downtown area and your local guide will suggest dining and shopping destinations for the rest of the day.
Your second day begins, after breakfast, with your local guide picking you up at the hotel and taking you to the West Lake (approx. 2 hours). The jewel of Hangzhou’s crown, the West Lake is also the place to board and enjoy a boat cruise. The lake is surrounded by hills on three sides and faces downtown Hangzhou on its fourth and there are also two causeways, Bai and Su, which separate the lake into five parts. The lake also has three man-made islands: Three Pools Mirroring the moon, Mid-lake Pavilion, and Rong Gong Islet. After exploring this glistening masterpiece, your tour will be completed with a final trip to Hefang Street, an iconic thoroughfare of old Hangzhou. Following its recent renovation this street is lined with shops selling souvenirs as well as traditional tea houses and restaurants and famous century-old shops such as Wang Xingji also provide a modern looking window into the past.
This is a themed tour of Hangzhou, named the One Day Hangzhou Culture Tour. First thing you will be picked up at the hotel lobby and driven to Hefang Street, the most famous ancient street of Hangzhou which is highlighted with historical features from the Ming and Qing Dynasties and is also home to Hu Qing Yu Tang Traditional Chinese Medicine Museum. Continuing on, you will visit the former residence of Hu Xueyan, the wealthiest businessman in the late Qing Dynasty in China. His family mansion is famous for its exquisite wood, stone and brick carvings. The last stop of the day is to the Southern Song Dynasty Official Kiln Museum, a ceramic themed museum that displays ancient relics of the famous Jiaotanxia Southern Song Imperial Kiln.
This is a selected itinerary, named Experiencing Tea Culture in Hangzhou. First thing you will be picked up at the hotel lobby and driven to visit the China National Tea Museum for a taste of China’s in-depth tea culture. Then you will move on to Longjing Tea Plantation, a land of rolling tea fields where you can sip fresh Longjing Tea while enjoying, from afar, the beautiful vista of West Lake. If you are interested then you may also enquire how tea is grown, picked and made. Before driving back to your hotel, make a visit to ‘Sweet Osmanthus Rain at Manjuelong Village’, an osmanthus park which is famous for its vista of Golden Osmanthus in autumn and which is also one of the top ten views of the West Lake Scenic Area.
This is a themed trip we call The Bicycle Trip of Hangzhou. Meeting early in the morning at the rental place you and your guide will, after picking up the bicycles, commence the tour. The first destination will be Hangzhou Botanical Garden home to a number of unique sights, refreshing air and serene surroundings. This beautiful wooded environment is certainly an idyllic place for cycling and some highlights include its bamboo, the ornamental plants section and the Jade Spring. Lunch will be served in Shan Wai Shan Restaurant (Mountain Beyond Mountain) where some of Hangzhou’s best cuisine is served. After lunch you will be guided to ride to Longjing Tea Plantation, known also as Dragon Well Tea Plantation this is a pleasant place to enjoy a nice cup of tea. Here you can leave the bikes for a while and climb to the tea fields to see how the farmers pick and cultivate the well-known and much sought-after Longjing Green Tea. Saying farewell to the tea plantation and leisurely cycling back will complete the tour.
The annual time for picking Longjing green tea leaves, one of the top ten renowned teas of China, has begun in Hangzhou and everywhere tea farmers are now busy picking and hand frying the famous leaves. If you wanted to take a sneak peek at how the farmers meticulously pick their verdant leaves from bushes nestled in undulating hills, or if you wanted to sample, at first hand, this year’s Longjing variety, then head to the following three tea villages which are known for their tea, tea culture and tea-related tourist attractions.
Last year on the real waters of the West Lake, and in the evening gala of Hangzhou G20 Summit, the performance “The most memorable is Hangzhou” amazed the world. It was a shame that after such a short period of performing in last October and November, the show paused. But now news is out that starting from May, the updated version of original Impression West Lake, “The most memorable is Hangzhou” will once again show its lakeside charm in becoming one of the most splendid performances on water.